Hezbollah to increase forces in Syria over fear of Israeli attacks - report

The report comes after alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted the international airport in Aleppo and sites near Damascus on Wednesday evening.

 Hezbollah and Syrian flags flutter on a military vehicle in Western Qalamoun, Syria August 28, 2017.  (photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI)
Hezbollah and Syrian flags flutter on a military vehicle in Western Qalamoun, Syria August 28, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/OMAR SANADIKI)

Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah has reportedly increased its forces in Syria due to fear of Israeli attacks, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated on Thursday morning.

According to the organization, Hezbollah military reinforcements arrived in Mahin in the eastern Homs countryside on Wednesday, bringing machine guns mounted atop five 4x4 vehicles with them. 

The reinforcements will join the Hezbollah militias already stationed in the area, in Mahin town as well as near Homs in central Syria, SOHR reported.

This comes after alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted the international airport in Aleppo in northern Syria and sites near Damascus on Wednesday evening.

 Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, gather as they carry flags, marking the commemoration of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, in Adaisseh village near the border with Israel, southern Lebanon, May 25, 2022.  (credit: REUTERS/AZIZ TAHER) Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, gather as they carry flags, marking the commemoration of Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, in Adaisseh village near the border with Israel, southern Lebanon, May 25, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/AZIZ TAHER)

Alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria

According to Syrian reports, air defense systems near Latakia, located southwest of Aleppo, were activated in an attempt to intercept the missiles headed towards Aleppo.

Shortly after the strike in Aleppo, alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted sites near Damascus, with Syrian air defenses activated over the capital in an attempt to intercept the incoming missiles, according to Syrian reports.

The strikes targeted sites near the Damascus International Airport, the Damascus-Daraa highway and al-Kiswah, south of Damascus, according to the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV. SANA reported that the strikes caused only material damage.

According the report from SOHR, organization members have reported seeing reinforcements being brought in by Iranian-backed militias close to the US Al-Tanaf outpost near the Syria border with Jordan and Iraq, after having been put on high alert for nearly a week following drone attacks on the base on August 22.

Syria's request from Iran

Syrian officials have asked Iran and its proxies not to conduct attacks against Israel from its territory, leading the Iran-led axis to retaliate against Israeli strikes by hitting American bases instead, The New York Times reported on Friday last week, citing a source in Damascus.

The request came during a virtual meeting between Iran and Iran-backed parties from Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Yemen and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. The meeting was reported by Gheis Ghoreishi, an analyst close to the Iranian government, and confirmed to the Times by a person in Damascus.

The source in Damascus stated that the Syrians did not want an attack against Israel to be launched from their territory as that would risk an all-out war in the already destabilized country. Because of the request, the Iran-led "axis of resistance" targeted US bases in Syria in hopes that this would push America to pressure Israel to halt its strikes.

This is a developing story.